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Smoking ban costs clubs $1.7m a day

9/12/2008
The introduction of the indoor smoking ban last year has cost clubs and pubs almost $1.7 million a day in poke machine revenue, resulting in thousands of jobs in the industry to be cut.

Revenue from poker machines in pubs and clubs fell by $616 million last financial year compared with the year before the smoking ban. When these losses are added to Star City Casino’s 12% decline in poker machine revenue in total the state has lost $900 million from the smoking ban.

Chief executive of Clubs NSW, David Costello said, “As predicted, club gaming revenue fell off a cliff when the indoor smoking bans were introduced.” This resulted in a loss of 21 000 jobs at clubs in the first 12 months of the ban, bring the total work force down to 43,300, despite club memberships reaching a record breaking high. As well a job losses club donation to charities and professional sporting teams also fell by £8.9 million.

Costello continued, “Overwhelmingly, clubs have reacted to the fall in revenue by implanting a dramatic reduction in their workforce. However, with unemployment now cut to the bone, I expect clubs will have little choice but to make further cuts in community donation over the coming 12 months.”

The state’s 1,322 clubs received more than $3 billion in poker machine revenue after wings were paid out for the last financial year. This was $385 million less than the year before and does not include the $940 million paid in gaming machine tax and GST.

Danielle Almond
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